Olympic short film comp launched in U.K.

Filmmakers between 11 through 25 years old invited to submit

LONDON -- The summer of 2012 is already on movie industry calendars as being anything but sunny for boxoffice prospects, whatever the actual outcome of the prediction of the end of the world in that year by doomsayers interpreting the Mayan calendar.

Not only did the ancient civilization stop predicting any future happenings after that year -- giving Roland Emmerich a Sony-backed excuse to make last year's disaster movie "2012" in which L.A. gets swallowed up -- but that summer also represents a double whammy for the studio-owned overseas distribution networks.

Studio-owned and independent distributors are already hard at work drawing up clever counter-programming plans to attract eyes away from the London 2012 Olympic Games and also fend off the attention-seeking UEFA 2012 European Soccer Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

And there are other, shorter plans afoot, to remind wannabe filmmakers to keep the faith.

Monday morning (March 22) at BAFTA HQ in London saw the launch of a nationwide competition here for young filmmakers.

The idea is to give young filmmakers the chance to showboat their work at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The winners' work will be screened at venues for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012 "to an audience of millions," organizers said.

Filmmakers aged between 11 through 25 years old are being invited from June this year to create short films of no longer than three minutes that celebrate the values of the Olympics.

Organized by Film Nation: Shorts, the competition is backed by organizations including the U.K. Film Council and First Light with funding from the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor.

It's one way for the Council to feel better about the loss of its own funding to the Olympics here.